HN in John 1.1a

Moon-Ryul Jung moon at
Tue Jan 14 18:44:38 EST 2003

> > Hello,
> >
> > I'm a first time poster to B-Greek. Although I've done some Greek study
> > in the past, I'm in no sense a scholar, and far less of Greek, but I'm
> > re-engaging questions I've left on the shelf for a long time.
> >
> > Does the imperfect active HN in John 1.1a indicate or suggest an ongoing
> > eternal existence or does it simply mean at a particular point in time,
> > ie., the beginning, the Word existed?
> >
> > I would appreciate whatever you might contribute to my/our understanding
> > on these questions. What do you think?
> Rich, welcome.  I don't think such a determination can be made simply from the
> tense of the verb.  The imperfect of EIMI is the only past tense usage of the
> verb (there is no aorist or perfect), and simply indicates a past state of
> being.  The precise limits of that state of being have to be derived from
> contextual clues.

[Moon] The reason that there are no aorist or perfect is because of the
nature of the verb EIMI. This verb describes that something exists. The 
Greek aorist or perfect of EIMI does not make sense. It means that the
imperfect of EIMI is the only legitimate past of EIMI, and is therefore 
the real imperfect. Then HN in John 1.1 should mean that the Logos was
already there at the beginning. In diagram, we have

  LOGOS       o--------------o   (the open and unbounded interval)
  Beginning          .

Is there any clear example where HN is used in the sense of aorist?

Moon R. Jung
Sogang Univ, Seoul, Korea

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